Preparing your furnace or heat pump for the winter is well worth the effort to keep your system working optimally. An efficiently running heating system doesn’t just mean a more comfortable home, but it also means more money in your pocket due to energy savings.
1. Perform a Basic Visual Inspection
Begin your preparations with a visual inspection of your heating system. Check for any signs of damage, such as wear and tear, rust, leaks, or loose connections. Also, pay attention to any strange noises when it’s running. The earlier you catch these issues, the better because minor problems can become expensive emergency repairs. If any of these signs are present, schedule an appointment with a professional technician to address them right away.
2. Clean or Replace Air Filters
A dirty or clogged air filter can significantly impact the performance of your heating system. It makes your furnace or heat pump work harder than necessary and reduces its lifespan. Experts recommend changing HVAC filters at least every three months. However, you should inspect them at least once a month to check for clogs, especially when your heating system is running a lot. Besides improving the performance of your system, a clean filter also enhances the air quality in your home.
3. Clear the Area Around Your Furnace or Heat Pump
Keep the area surrounding your furnace free from dust, debris, or any combustible materials. A clean space is essential for safety and your system’s efficiency. In the case of heat pumps, don’t forget to check the outdoor units. Clear them of leaves, branches, or any debris that might affect their performance. An obstruction-free environment around your heat pump allows for better airflow to your system.
4. Check Your Thermostat
You can check your thermostat’s accuracy by taping a reliable thermometer to the wall next to the device. Wait 20 minutes, then check the readings. If they are more than a few degrees apart, you may need to contact a HVAC professional to recalibrate your thermostat so that it reads the temperature of your home accurately.
If you’re still using a traditional thermostat, think about upgrading to a smart model to reduce your energy costs. These devices can learn your schedule and preferences, automatically adjusting temperatures for maximum comfort and energy efficiency.
5. Schedule a Professional Inspection
Even if you are adept at home maintenance, a professional’s expert eye is valuable. A HVAC technician can perform a comprehensive inspection, including safety checks. During their visit, they will also clean your heating system’s internal components and lubricate any moving parts. During the process, they will spot potential issues you might miss and ensure your heating system is ready for the winter onslaught. Regular professional maintenance can increase the longevity of your heating system and keep it running efficiently.
6. Test Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Furnaces, particularly older models or poorly maintained ones, can leak carbon monoxide. This odorless gas can be deadly. Check your carbon monoxide detectors are working correctly and replace the batteries if necessary. Protecting your family’s health is always important, and ensuring safety devices are in good shape is an easy but vital step in maintaining a safe heating system.
7. Inspect Your Ductwork
Your ductwork is key to heating your home. Experts report that homeowners lose up to 30% of their conditioned air through leaky ducts. Reach out to a professional to check the ductwork for damage, gaps, or leaks. If necessary, a professional can seal or insulate problematic areas. This can significantly enhance the efficiency of your heating system.
8. Upgrade if Necessary
If your furnace or heat pump is over 10-15 years old, it might be time for an upgrade. Experts suggest that if an upcoming repair is going to cost close to half of a replacement or more, it is probably time to consider a new unit. Additionally, newer models are more energy-efficient, reducing energy bills and making your home more eco-friendly. Though the initial cost of a replacement can be high, it can save you money in the long run through reduced energy costs and fewer repair needs.
Contact the Professionals
AirDepot provides heating and cooling services for customers in Cypress and the surrounding areas. Our company also specializes in maintenance plans, indoor air quality services, and much more. Contact AirDepot today to schedule an appointment with one of our technicians.